Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” is rated R – for mature audiences. The tit and jottle counters would say this is due to language and some sexual content. Whatever. I believe the rating is earned due to the story. It is written for an audience that has matured, not so much wise as simply older. You have to have lived a little for this story to truly touch you.
Aidan Bloom (Braff) is a man whose life hasn’t quite turned out the way he thought it would. Not that he knew how it would turn out but just that he thought by now (married, two kids in school) it would look different. His wife Sarah (Kate Hudson) works a crap job so he can pursue his dream of acting. His kids attend a Jewish school, tuition covered by his father Gabe (Mandy Patinkin). Aidan’s younger brother Paul (Jim Parsons) lives in a trailer by the sea, with aspirations of becoming a blogger. In some ways this feels like a scene from George Bailey’s Bedford Falls.
Then Gabe’s cancer suddenly returns. And instead of a man given the gift of going back in time to see his life without him in it, Adian is startled awake to the life he has right now, one full of failed dreams, and disappointments, and a dying father. In other words, his wonderful, wonderful life.
“Wish I Was Here” is not a great film. There were times when I thought what? But it is a good film, and that, in my opinion, is its greatness. This story caused me to stop and feel the weight of my life. It reminded me that we are only here for just a little while, and courage is needed for we must do what we can to help each other find our way home.